Word on the street is that the officially registered committee behind Councilman Eric Crafton’s English Only referendum will purposefully miss today’s 5:00 P.M. financial disclosure filing deadline.
According to Election Commission coordinator, Joan Nixon, if they miss today’s deadline, she will send out a registered Assessment letter tomorrow. When she receives the green receipt card back from the post office, the $25.00 per day fine for missing the deadline will kick in. So, let’s say the Assessment letter goes out to the English Only folk on Friday and, best case scenario, they get it on Monday. Then the Post Office sends the receipt back and, again best cast scenario, Ms. Nixon receives it on Wednesday. If Crafton’s folks then file on Friday, the day after the election, then they’ve amassed a whopping $50.00 fine. Oh yeah, that’s going to hurt.
So let’s add this to what has happened so far in the English Only kerfuffle.
1) Nashville For All of Us, the coalition against the English Only referendum has almost every civic, spiritual, and community leader and organization in Nashville as official members, while Councilman Crafton’s coalition consists of a handful of conservative talk show hosts, Lou Dobbs, the friendly friends over at Fox and Friends, and the advocacy group Pro English, an out-of-state group that is tied to Dr. John Tanton, who has founded other anti-immigrant organizations that have been designated as “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
2) The members of the Nashville for All of Us Coalition have made themselves available for dozens of local speaking engagements dedicated to the civil discussion of the pros and cons of the English Only referendum. Councilman Crafton has made himself available to national news outlets Fox and Friends and Lou Dobbs but recently pulled out of what was to be a locally-televised debate against one time mayoral candidate, David Briley, and moderated by well-respected Nashville elder statesman, John Seigenthaler. The debate will go on, by the way, tomorrow night at 7:00 PM on WNPT Channel 8, with Mr. Seigenthaler, Mr. Briley, and Mr. Empty Chair Representing Councilman ‘Fraidy Pants.
3) Today is the filing deadline for the referendum organizations. According to a statement made to The City Paper, Nashville for All of Us, will meet todayâ€™s disclosure deadline. Councilman Crafton’s group, of which he says, he is “merely the spokesman” and “not responsible for issues like disclosing campaign contributions and expenditures,” has responded to questions by the City Paper as to whether or not they will file like this:
Jon Crisp, former chairman of the Davidson County Republican Party and fellow leader of the English Only movement, failed to return multiple phone calls for this story.
Lampley [Lewis Lampley, listed as the groupâ€™s treasurer] said he had no comment on the “rumor” that Nashville English First intended not to file.
Crafton acknowledged Nashville English First had been supported by the advocacy group Pro English. The group was founded by Dr. John Tanton…
As unofficial Nashville for All of Us spokesman, Mike Kopp, says in the article, Crafton’s English Only group “would be showing a lack of transparency if it missed todayâ€™s disclosure deadline” and “Specifically, does this mean they have ties to a group and theyâ€™re afraid to disclose those ties? And will those relationships have any bearing on how this plays out?”
The group behind English Only has no Nashville-based business or community organizational support, are afraid to present their case in an impartial forum on local TV, and might be weaseling out of disclosing their funding sources to the citizens of our community. Are these really the actions of a group that says that what they are trying to pass is in the best interest of the city of Nashville?